Jackson Historical Society

Overview

The Village of Jackson is located just north of Milwaukee and south of West Bend, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and State HWY 60, in the heart of the Kettle Moraine Area, and was named after President Andrew Jackson. Jackson is an ideal place for people to work and live. Jackson enjoys many of the conveniences of a large city, with a small-town atmosphere. Wisconsin's preliminary population for 2019 is estimated at 7,187.

History

Prior to 1872, Jackson was one of three small, unincorporated hamlets located in the Towns of Jackson and Polk, none of which appeared to be more important than the other. Once known as Riceville (from the English misspelling of a German name) this little hamlet developed on 400 acres acquired by a German immigrant named Franz Reis.

When the railroad was built from Milwaukee to Fond du Lac, Reis offered the company a site for a depot. The railroad remained a vital force in the development of Jackson for years to come. Trains ran frequently and milk was transported to Milwaukee from the Jackson depot. Many people now living in Jackson can also recall commuting by train to high school classes in West Bend.

Jackson Train Depot
Major Snow Storm of 1936
Digging Out - 1936 Snow Storm

Looking East On Main StreetWith the railroad passing through his farm and trains stopping at his front door, Reis saw an opportunity to profit from his gift. In 1873 Mr. Reis built a large general store, a saloon, and a grain elevator. A second elevator and store were built later, and before long the community had two blacksmith shops, a carpenter shop, a hardware store, and, according to a county history written in 1881, "a number of neat stone dwellings." There was The Franklin Roller Mills, Otto Greve's Blacksmith Shop, Sam Frank's Blacksmith Shop, J.G. Frank and Company Elevator, Weckmueller's Saloon, Gilbert's Saloon, Schoenbeck and Quade's Sawmill, Charles Frank's Harness Shop, Procknow's Shoe Shop and Barber Shop, Jahnke's Wagon Shop, Mayer's Carpenter Shop, Nick Herman's Carpenter Shop, Jenner's Hardware Store, Frank and Froehlich Store and Post office, Gumm's Lumber Yard, Held's meat market, Ziegler's Dance Hall, Ziegler's Hotel and Saloon, two creameries, a cheese factory, and Doctor Blank.

Looking West On Main StreetOn March 14, 1912, the hamlet of Jackson was incorporated as a Village. By that time, in addition to those businesses established in the late 1800's, the Village had a cheese factory, a post office, and a hotel. In 1918, the William H. Gilbert Company built a blacksmith shop, which became the Jackson Body Co., a manufacturer of truck bodies. In 1920, the Village had a resident population of 230 people and the first of the Village's three major industries, Rockfield Canning Company, had moved into the Village. Like its predecessors, Rockfield Canning Company chose a location adjacent to the railroad. Later, it operated as Seneca Foods and today is part of Northland Cranberries (now Cranberry Creek Subdivision). Other early businesses included Held's Feed Mill, Jackson Lumber Yard, Pete Pauley's Race Horses, and Green Valley Dairy.

During the three decades following 1920, little development took place in the Village. No new industries or businesses moved into the community and the 1930 census actually showed a slight decline in resident population. By 1940, the population of the Village began to increase again, and by 1950 the U.S. Census reported the resident population at 361. From 1950 to 1970 the Village population increased slightly as more industry moved into the Village. A medical supply manufacturing plant, George Bursock Industries, Inc., moved in in 1955 and occupied a building originally constructed as a cheese factory. In 1960 this plant was purchased by Will Ross, Inc., who constructed their new Badger Laboratories Division building in 1968, a building now occupied by Kerry Foods in 1986. In 1961, Kettle Moraine Coatings, Inc., began operations. During this 20-year period, other industries and businesses, such as Rex Cabinets, Ozaukee Pattern Company, Inc., and Sundance Photo, Inc., moved to the Village. In 1981, Quality Stamping built a new factory and in 1987, Rytec Inc. established a factory. In 1985, Wisconsin Pharmacal was annexed to the Village.

Paving Highway 55 (Which later became Highway 45, then P)

Paving Highway 55 (Which later became Highway 45, then P). The men would work 10-hour days Monday through Friday and 1/2 days on Saturdays at 35 cents per hour.

Horse Drawn Vehicle - Paving Highway 55 (Which later became Highway 45, then P)

In 1970, the U.S. census recorded the population of the Village as 561. In 1975, the Wisconsin Department of Administration estimated the resident population as 1,895, an increase of almost 2 1/2 times in just five years.

To house the new residents, two new subdivisions were added to the Village in 1971. In the following years, many more subdivisions were completed. A mobile home development of about 300 homes, Green Valley, was also established.

In May of 1981, construction of a new wastewater treatment plant was completed. First updated in 1994, it has been expanded and updated as the Village has grown.

During the 1990s, the Village of Jackson was one of the fastest-growing incorporated communities in the state. The event contributing to that dramatic increase was the completion of the U.S. Highway 45 project in 1988. This construction produced a four-lane, limited-access expressway, enabling 20 to 30-minute commuting trips to the Milwaukee area.

The Village continued to expand with the construction of Old Church Square in 1991. Main Street (Highway 60) was reconstructed through the Village in 1992, and a new water main and the overhead electric services were placed underground.

In 1994, SYSCO Foods of Eastern Wisconsin was located in the new Cedar Creek Business Park in Jackson. In 1995, McDonald's joined the Village. In 1996, the Village purchased 14 acres of land from Seneca Foods (now Cranberry Creek subdivision) for Hickory Lane Park. The Tillie Lake Business Centre, added Sario's Restaurant in 1999, and in 2000, the Mid-Moraine Municipal Court offices, the Hawthorne Suites, a 52 unit Hotel/Motel, and Culver's Frozen Custard

In 1998 the Village began work with the Town of Jackson on a Revenue Sharing and Cooperative Boundary Agreement. This agreement was the first developed. within the state under a particular state statute. The agreement establishes a maximum boundary limit for the Village to the year 2015. There are also provisions for the extension of the water and sewer services of the Village to other users outside the Village.

In 1998, Washington County also announced the location of the new Washington County Fair. The Village of Jackson was chosen to provide for sanitary sewer and water service to the new County Fair site.

Recent Village presidents were Gerald Boldt (1989 to 1995), Donna Spaeth (1995 to 1999), Scott Mittelsteadt (1999 to 2010) Wendy Kannenberg (2010 to 2015) and Mike Schwab (2015 to Present).

The Village of Jackson remains one of the fastest growing communities in Washington, County.

Jackson Historical Society

"What happens today will be history tomorrow." The Jackson Historical Society (JHS) purpose is to preserve the heritage of the Village of Jackson and the Town of Jackson in Wisconsin.

The JHS grounds (located at 1860 Mill Road, Jackson, WI 53037) include the church museum, one-room schoolhouse, and Karl Groth two-story log house. They are open by appointment. To schedule, please call Russ Hanson (Phone: 262-353-3641), Clif Koeller (Phone: 262-677-3457), or Jerry Prochnow (Phone: 262-338-8867), or email.

All interested individuals are encouraged to attend JHS Meetings held at 7 pm on the 3rd Monday of alternate months: January, March, May, July, September, and November. (January, March, and November meetings held at Jackson Town Hall, 3146 Division Road, Jackson, WI 53037; May, July, and September meetings held at JHS, Karl Groth log house, 1860 Mill Road, Jackson, WI 53037.)

Officers

  • Clif Koeller, President
  • Jerry Prochnow, Vice President
  • Doris Koeller, Secretary
  • Lenore Kloehn, Treasurer

Board of Directors

  • Russ Hanson
  • Elmer Kloehn
  • Gordon Zieman

Be informed with information from the Jackson's Historical Society, by reading issues of their newsletter, The Church Mouse. 

Subscribe to their newsletter for $20 per year by contacting:

Jackson Historical Society
The Church Mouse
P.O. Box 197
Jackson, WI 53037

You can also explore Archived Church Mouse Newsletters.